Chelsea sale: Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams 'pledge £10m each' to Sir Martin Broughton bid

The pair are set to invest £10m each into the proposed deal as part of Broughton's investment team.
Serena Williams and Lewis Hamilton have partnered with Sir Martin Broughton

Seven-times Formula 1 World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton and 23-time Grand Slam tennis ace Serena Williams are pledging millions to back Sir Martin Broughton's bid to buy Chelsea FC.

ITV News understands Broughton, a former Liverpool and British Airways chairman, has been talking to the sporting duo for several weeks as one of the three final consortiums vying for the club.

The pair are set to invest £10m each into the proposed deal as part of Broughton's investment team.

Hamilton is an Arsenal fan which means his backing for Chelsea may come as a surprise, although his family is thought to support the London club.

Broughton has also partnered with Lord Sebastian Coe on the bid to buy Chelsea

Broughton is understood to be confident that his group of investors would hand Chelsea access to the most capital of the remaining consortiums.

A spokesperson for Formula One star Hamilton confirmed the 37-year-old’s involvement in Broughton’s bid.

"We can confirm that Lewis has joined the Sir Martin Broughton bid," a spokesperson said.

Broughton has also partnered with Lord Sebastian Coe with both lifelong Blues fans determined to take the helm at Stamford Bridge.

World Athletics president and London 2012 chief Coe’s presence adds political and sports administration clout, with Broughton having held a short chairmanship at Liverpool to help the Reds transition to their current owners.

Russian-Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich, who has led Chelsea to 21 trophies in 19 years after buying the west London club in 2003, put Chelsea up for sale in March.

Chelsea have been granted a special Government licence to continue operating, though under strict terms.

Abramovich cannot profit from the Blues’ sale, but had already vowed to write off the club’s £1.5billion debt.

Rival consortiums are locked in negotiations to buy Chelsea from Roman Abramovich

Chelsea’s sale is expected to be completed in May, with Sir Martin Broughton, Todd Boehly and Steve Pagliuca the remaining contenders.

The Government must approve the eventual buyer, with the issuing of a new Treasury licence for the sale the final hurdle for Chelsea’s would-be new owners.

Chelsea’s eventual new owners will have to satisfy the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ tests before the Government would be due to ratify the work done by Raine Group in examining the suitability of their preferred bidder.

A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “The Government has no role in establishing a preferred bidder for Chelsea Football Club.

“Assessments of owners and due diligence are a matter for the club and the Premier League, not the Government.

“Our role is to consider an application for an amended licence that authorises a sale of the club when it comes forward with a preferred bidder.”

The sale of the Stamford Bridge club could reach a sports franchise record £3billion, with the destination of those funds yet to be determined. The sale proceeds could either be frozen, or diverted into a charitable foundation to aid victims of Russia’s war in Ukraine.